Hazing News

Guilty pleas from Darleta McKennis-Weems and Jessica Reynolds, and Ashley Moore in Missouri hazing case

Three Zeta Phi Beta women at Southeast Missouri street were given probation
and community service for striking and abusing pledges. This is the school where Michael Davis died in a 1994 hazing incudent.
Story excerpt: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 Southeast Missourian

Three members of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority pleaded guilty Monday in circuit court in Jackson to third-degree assault for hazing a prospective member in February. Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp suspended imposition of sentence and placed each defendant on two years’ probation.

The defendants — Darleta McKennis-Weems and Jessica Reynolds, both 23, and 22-year-old Ashley Moore, all of Cape Girardeau — were ordered to perform 40 hours of community service each.

The judge also ordered the defendants to avoid any contact with the national sorority or any of its members as a condition of probation.

Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said he agreed to drop misdemeanor hazing charges in exchange for the guilty pleas on the assault charges.

The women were involved in hazing a prospective member by forcing her to eat a mixture of food taken from a garbage can, striking her with a closed fist and spraying her in the face with a liquid.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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